I had the 12th pick in a snake draft with standard scoring in an ESPN roto league. I think my team turned out meh.
Team Strengths: I think I have a good mix of power hitters and a strong pitching staff.
Team Weaknesses: I’m weak on SBs, I drafted closers terribly, and I’m relying heavily on a bunch of bounce back players to carry my team, specifically Cargo/Fielder/Zimmerman. Wow my MI is weak and I waited way too long on a 5th OF. I usually love cycling my 5th OF or UTL player with whoever’s hot throughout the year, but I waited way too long on both.
It’s pretty easy to explain my picks cause they’re all back to back, here are some screenshots of the full draft. If I learned anything it’s that I shouldn’t have waited on players I really wanted, especially late in the draft. I wish I reached on deGrom/McHugh/Segura/Hunter.
1st (12) & 2nd (13) Anthony Rizzo and Adam Jones
A no brainer for me here, I wanted an elite 1B and OF. I would have went Rendon or Cano if one of these guys didn’t make it to me, but I felt pretty confident I could take Jones here. I’m very happy at the start of the draft.
3rd (36) & 4th (37) Carlos Gonzalez and Starling Marte
I foolishly thought Harper would make it back to me, but he went early in the 2nd round. In the mocks I did before he usually falls in the early 3rd round. My thought process here was to snag another elite OF and either an elite SP or Nolan Arenado, but there was a run of SPs that went right before me and Arendo went 27th overall. I thought I would have been reaching at 37th! Razzball ranked him 20th overall, so it wasn’t to crazy he went that early. I love Carlos Gonzalez this year. I mean every injury that could happen to him did happen, and they were all weird injuries, I think he had a tumor in his finger. I don’t expect him to be healthy for a full year, but I do expect him to produce at 1st round talent when he is. I kind of reached for Marte, but I liked his strong finish to the season last year and I think he’ll steal more, but I don’t like how he’s batting 5th in Pittsburgh.
5th (60) & 6th (61) Jordan Zimmermann and Prince Fielder
I didn’t think Zimmermann would fall to me, but I lucked out in landing an elite SP. I debated taking Billy Hamilton here to cement my SBs total, I like him a lot more in Roto leagues than in H2H leagues because 1 category guys seem like such a waste in weekly settings. I settled on Fielder because he felt safer. Fielder was one of them most consistent hitters before shoulder surgery last year and I think he’s decent value here, but if Zimmermann didn’t fall to me I would have picked those 2 hitters.
7th (84) & 8th (85) Gerrit Cole and Kenley Jansen
I thought Arrietta would have made it back to me here, but he went in the 6th round. I probably wouldn’t have even considered Jansen had Arrieta made it back to me. I wanted another pitcher and settled on Cole, a former #1 overall pick who increased his K/9 to 9.00 last year and pitches for a great defensive Pirates team in the NL. He’s probably still improving too. I really considered taking deGrom here, but ended up taking Jansen instead, who ended up being my least favorite pick by far. I didn’t realize he was going to miss 8 – 12 weeks of the season! Oops, this is why we mock draft boys. Now I probably wouldn’t take him this early, but it did cause me to look into the injury. Jansen got foot surgery, something that’s bothered him his whole career, but his arm is fine. That’s about all the research I did. I would have been happy to draft him 4 rounds later…
9th (108) & 10th (109) Ryan Zimmerman and Charlie Blackmon
2 Zimmerman(n) on one team?! That’s just crazy! I like most players on the Nationals and now he’ll have the much easier task playing 1B instead of 3B this year. I hindsight Chase Headley I could have targeted later, but I would have been happier drafting David Wright who fell at #122. I like Charlie Blackmon at this price. Scott Pianowski always writes “regression should be the start of the conversation, not the end.” Blackmon still hits in Coors and his stats don’t look flukey to me. His BABIP wasn’t too outrageous and his ISO and HR/FB align with what he did the previous year. He slightly improved on his plate discipline and hit more FBs last year too, yeah he had a weak second half and he’s mediocre out of Coors, but he’s definitely capable of putting up a top 100 year again.
11th (132) & 12th (133) Phil Hughes and Zack Wheeler
I drafted one pitcher that walks no one and one pitcher that walks too many, both strike out a fair bit and both wear #45. I’m not too worried about Wheeler getting an MRI and neither are the Mets by the looks of it. I love Hughes this year, yeah he won’t break the K/BB record again, but he actually got a tad unlucky last year. Even if he regresses in some areas I can actually see him improving in others. I think I would have rather had Colin McHugh here (I thought he’d make it back to me…he didn’t) but I like both these SPs.
13th (156) & 14th (157) Xander Boegarts and Ian Kennedy
I debated taking Segura instead of Boegarts here (I actually wanted Segura more but I thought Segura had a higher chance of getting back to me…I was wrong). I wish I went back to back SS here because SP is so deep and it ended up costing me having a very weak MI instead of just a weak one. I like Kennedy a lot, he pitches in Petco, increased his K rate by 1, cut his walk rate by .5, cut his HR/9, and his BABIP wasn’t even lucky. His ERA was 3.63, but his FIP was 3.21. Why hasn’t anyone talked about this guy?
15th (180) & 16th (181) Neil Walker and Jose Fernandez
I was actually pretty surprised Walker was still on the board this late and I did need a 2B. I wish a guy like Justin Morneau or Shin-Soo Choo made it to me, but I can live with Walker here. I actually think Shoemaker would have been a better pick than Fernandez here. I like Fernandez in keepers leagues a hell of a lot more than in redraft leagues. The positives: Jose could provide me SP1 numbers as soon as June if everything goes right with his recovery and at #181 overall I didn’t feel like I was taking too big of a risk. The negatives: If the Marlins aren’t doing well there’d be no need to rush him back and Tommy John surgery guys are taking longer to recover, I think Harvey will have 17 months recovery time. He’s no lock for ace or even to pitch at all this year.
17th (204) & 18th (205) James Paxton and Justin Verlander
I loved getting Paxton here, tall lefty with commanding fastball? Yes please. I think he’s the one player I waited on that actually made it to me. I think Verlander is better than his plus 200 price tag, but I really should have spent a pick on a hitter or a better MI here instead of another SP.
19th (228) & 20th (229) Tyler Clippard and Neftali Feliz
I never draft closers, but in roto leagues, especially with more competitive teammates, I prefer to draft a couple. But yeah, I really didn’t know too much about closers going into the mock draft and it showed. I figure Clippard is probably the closer in Oakland and Doolittle might not even reclaim the role when he returns. I really want Texas to be a better team this year, but losing Darvish isn’t a good sign, but Feliz should have the closer role. He used to have such nasty stuff. I really would have preferred Brad Boxberger here but he went right before me.
21st (252) & 22nd (253) Russell Martin and Jenrry Mejia
Mejia has the closer role for the Mets until Parnell comes back, and who knows when that’ll be, and has some pretty filthy pitches. I do love me some Russell Martin and wrote about him on who to target in my frugal catcher piece.
23rd (276) & 24th (277) Marcus Semien and Kennys Vargas
I really really wanted Tori Hunter, but he went 1 pick before me. 1 pick! He’s old, but he’s produced 17HRs and good counting stats for the past 3 years and he’s going on average at pick #275! He’s boring but reliably underrated every year. This is what I get for waiting on hitters… Seimen is my starting MI. I would have much rather had Segura or Lawrie, heck even Jung Ho Kang instead, but maybe some Billy Beane magic rubs Semien the right way, he was pretty decent on the White Sox too. Kennys Vargas is another player I had listed on Frugal 1B to target and he’s probably the cheapest clean up hitter in baseball. I waited too long on these positions, but I’m not too bummed having Vargas as my UTL.
Last pick 300 = Juan Lagares
I considered Dexter Fowler or Travis Snider here as well. I went with Lagares because he should be batting lead off for the Mets and last year in 156 ABs he had 17 runs, 9 SBs, and a .276 average in lead off. A full year of that…well, it’s not terrible considering it was my last pick, but I’d really rather have a better UTL or 5th OF to back him up. I do love my Met players though.